The betrothed of Devon are surely the luckiest in the country when it comes to choosing the perfect wedding venue. From moor to shore, the county has an abundance of country houses, hotels and glorious countryside...
Bickleigh Castle on 25th July 2009. After looking at numerous venues in Berkshire, where Tom and I live, and Devon, where my parents live, we instantly fell in love with Bickleigh Castle. It has a magical, fairytale quality – small but perfectly formed. It is architecturally authentic and strong, yet romantic and oozing warmth and country charm. It also has several picture-postcard thatched cottages for guests to stay in, as well as its very own chapel, reputedly the oldest in Devon.
There was a vintage tea party on the Friday afternoon using pretty vintage china and cake stands that took a year to source. Coffee was also served in these the following day, accompanied by delicious strawberry Champagne truffles supplied by the Norfolk Truffle Company.
Carrying the vintage country theme further, Sarah Hay from Bickleigh Castle kindly allowed Anna-Lisa's mother a free hand to dress the castle sitting room with throws and cushions in a wonderful mix of florals, spots and check fabrics. Terracotta pots painted in soft vintage colours with funky cream spots were arranged along pathways in the grounds with candles inside to light up the evening. The walls of the sitting room were decorated with enlarged photographs of the happy couple growing up alongside a series of framed photographs of Edwardian brides with captions offering humorous advice.
A string quartet played from the minstrels' gallery during the ceremony and afterwards in the chapel, where a soloist sang Ave Maria. After the heart-warming service, guests were served Pimm's and canapés on the lawns while being entertained by a jazz band and jester. For the more energetic there were garden games, including croquet.
At the appropriate time, The Master of Ceremonies seamlessly ushered the wedding party through to the wedding breakfast that was hosted within another part of Bickleigh's magnificent Listed buildings.
Peppers Disco came out of retirement especially for the occasion. As well as dancing, the evening included a wonderful hog roast and concluded with the throwing of the bouquet and a breathtaking firework display.